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Firefighters have cleaned up at the scene of a fire at the base of Glastonbury Tor, which involved a gas cylinder and a great deal of asbestos, it has been reported.
Fire crews from Glastonbury Fire Station, Bridgwater and other specialists kept a safe distance while the cylinder was cooled down. It is reported that initially this was a routine response to a fire at a garden shed, but it soon became a major asbestos incident. This was due to the presence of a large amount of the poisonous asbestos product, which can be extremely dangerous and even fatal if inhaled.
Eye witnesses reportedly heard a loud bang which sounded like fireworks. After the fire crew discovered the presence of the asbestos and the potentially explosive gas cylinders, the crew evacuated and proper gastight suits were then supplied, and the fire brigade’s Environmental Protection Unit from Taunton arrived.
The ambulance service’s Hazardous Area Response Team was also called, and the gas cylinder was monitored by a thermal imaging camera from a safe distance.
Andrew Stinchcombe at Novum Law comments “This is a reminder that asbestos remains present, and must not be disturbed. If fibres from asbestos dust are inhaled, this can cause serious asbestos disease many decades later. The number of cases of mesothelioma, which is an incurable form of asbestos related cancer, continues to rise. This is as a direct result of people being exposed to asbestos dust heavily in the past. It must not be forgotten however that asbestos products remain in many buildings and structures, and should not be disturbed except by specialist licenced contractors.”
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